Last year, High Vibes featured over 180 leading African artists. Most, like King Mensah (Togo), Tony Allen (Nigeria) and Ambolley (Ghana) have enjoyed long distinguished careers, but audiences were pleasantly surprised by sensational newcomers such as Kae Sun, Agorsor, Kwame Yeboah and Degg J Force 3!
The organisers believe that they can impact positively on a vibrant city such as Accra through the enhancement of jobs and business opportunities within the creative industries.
And a goal of the festival is to support Ghana's music industry through an annual series of events that presents the best live music and creates a positive culture around musical entertainment.
It's here again, and PJ attended the launch event last Friday.
The iconic image of a head-phoned person on 'high vibes' used on the festival's publicity materials and concert backdrops has come to symbolize an innovative festival that is fast establishing itself as a refreshing component of Accra's cultural and entertainment landscape and if what took place at the Sculpture garden at the National Museum with the image as background last Friday during the launch is anything to go by, then with its extensive variety of events planned for the month, we are in for an thrilling month!
Bessa's Band was on point, and played a kalaidescope of jazz and high life tunes that gave a very positive vibe for a balmy November evening.
Seeing Ebo Taylor, Ambolley and Pat Thomas on stage also added to the evening's excitement. But the highlight was when guest of honour Fritz Baffour after his welcome speech caused the band to play him an old blues tune which accompanied his inimitable voice!
The French Embassy's High Vibes Festival, which sees on various stages a myriad of local and international musicians, this year, promises to consolidate its reputation for bringing innovative live music from around the world.
Therefore, the third edition, currently under at various venues within the capital will see the UK's number one Jazz star, Courtney Pine, along with fellow British soul and jazz diva, Carleen Anderson are heading to Accra for some great performances and for the first time, the High Life Super Band featuring legends such as Pat Thomas, A.B. Crentsil and George Darko, Ambolley among other living legends will thrill crowds.
Also, as part of the festival, an interactive musical and multimedia exhibition designed to celebrate the works of legends such as Fela, Miriam Makeba, Marvin Gaye, Miles Davies, John Coltrane, Manu Dibango, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, E.T. Mensah and Ebo Taylor.
This fabulous grouping will play at a special tribute concert in honour of the late Osibisa legend Mac Tontoh, who died last year, and Citizen Kofi will host this concert!
Also featuring this year is an easy to use touch screens, interactive terminals, and film and video productions, which will run at the National Museum till November 28.
Again, the festival this year will also include some new and exciting discoveries like West African Idol finalist, Omawumi whose tune 'Na Who I Go Ask' is still riding high on the Nigerian charts, Banliuez'Art, the sensational hip hop duo from Guinea and Tigbala from Ivory Coast.
The possibility of establishing High Vibes as a major annual music festival in West Africa has been given a significant boost by the success of the previous editions.
Aimed to reach out to an audience who would not otherwise have the opportunity to enjoy the high pedigree of artists and music that High Vibes presents, the festival is mainly attentive to increasing the profile of the festival amongst the general public.
The high numbers registered at the festival's open-air events are particularly encouraging in this respect. The festival's focus on live music is hugely popular and much appreciated.
Lead organisers, Panji Anoff, one of Ghana's leading music producers who has been central to the development of Ghanaian music since the 1990's and managed artists such as Reggie Rockstone, Talking Drums, King Ayisoba and Wanlov the Kubolor, including producing the first edition of High Vibes and its hugely successful predecessor, Culture Caravan in 2009 and Creative Storm's Dr. Kwesi Owusu, who has a long list of event staging credits including "the 16 hour long Standing Tall Against Poverty" concert in 2005 with Salif Keita, Mahotella Queens, Seun Kuti, Eric Wainaina, Ofori Amponsah, Mac Tontoh, CK Mann, and leading Ghanaian performers as well as staging the memorable John Legend concert at Independence Square in 2007, both say we are in for a rollicking time this year.
Here's the full programme:
THURSDAY, 03 NOVEMBER 2011 - Venue: National Museum Theme: Launch & Opening of Black Odyssey Exhibition Artists: Press Conference, Bessa Band (Ghana), Exhibition and Cocktail
THURSDAY, 10 NOVEMBER 2011 - Venue: Afrikiko Leisure Centre Theme: High Vibes Music Jam Artists: Black Santiagos (Benin), Tigbalah (Ivory Coast), Banlieux Arts (Guinea)
FRIDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 2011 - Venue: Alliance Francaise Theme: Frenchy Vibes Artists: Black Santiagos (Benin), Banlieux Arts (Guinea), Elie Kamano (Guinea)
SATURDAY, 12 NOVEMBER 2011 - Venue: Citizen Kofi - Open Air Venue Theme: High Life Super Band Explosion Artists: Hi-Life Superstars (Ghana) w/ Pat Thomas, Kwanbena, CK Mann, Amakye Dede, Kwame Yeboah, Kari Bannerman and Pauline Oduro
FRIDAY, 18 NOVEMBER 2011 - Venue: Afrikiko Leisure Centre Theme: High Vibes Music Jam Artists: FOKN BOIS (featuring Wanlov Kubolor and M3NSA), Manifest (USA/Ghana), Bessa Band (Ghana) with EBO TAYLOR, Tigbala (Ivory Coast), Banlieux Arts (Guinea)
FRIDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 2011 - Venue: Movenpick Hotel Theme: Jazzy Vibes Artists: Courtney Pine and Band (UK), Ray Allen and Kwame Yeboah Band (Ghana)
SUNDAY, 27 NOVEMBER 2011 - Venue: Movenpick Hotel Theme: Acoustic Divas Dinner Artists: Carleen Anderson and Band (UK), Nana Yaa and Band (Ghana), Pauline Oduro (Ghana)
MONDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2011 - Venue: Movenpick Hotel Theme: Role of Music in Creative Industry and Closing Coctail Artists: Gathering of Creative Industry, Artistes, w/ Ministry of Chieftaincy & Culture, Ministry of Trade & Industry and MUSIGA
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